Southern Ports was recognised as the port of the year at the 2023 Australian Shipping and Maritime Industry Awards last week. The awards ceremony held at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth on Friday saw Southern Ports recognised among all other Australian ports for its transformation across trade, asset management, sustainability and innovation. Southern Ports chief executive officer Kieth Wilks said he was proud of the accolade. “We may not be the biggest port authority or facilitate the most trade across the country, but we certainly have grown and transformed our role and contribution to the sector, the regions we operate in and the State’s economy,” he said. “Last year alone we broke 16 trade records across our three ports, which together facilitated $49 billion in trade. “When you compare our organisation to five years ago, we’re almost unrecognisable.” In addition to taking out the major award of the evening, two of Southern Ports’ employees were awarded with high commendations. Chief people and sustainability officer Monica Birkner was recognised in the women in maritime and shipping category, and marine pilot Callum MacAdie won the young achiever award, recognising his career as one of the youngest marine pilots in the nation. The port authority was also a finalist in the environmental award for its continuous work to improve environmental practices at the port of Esperance. Southern Ports recorded a consecutive record-breaking year for profits and community involvement this year, a highlight being the success of its partnership with Foodbank, helping provide food hampers throughout the South West.